Movie Night, featuring Defiance

Press Release

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2016
Contact:  Ellen Jacob, V.P., Kol Israel Foundation
Web site:
Facebook:  www.facebook/kolisraelfoundation

Kol Israel Foundation and Mandel JCC are pleased to invite the community to Movie Night, featuring DEFIANCE, a Holocaust story of Survivors who fought as Partisans with the Bielski Brothers

BEACHWOOD, OH, November 21, 2016 – There were six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, leaving a mere three million Survivors, each with a unique story to tell.  One such story is the movie DEFIANCE -- an amazing, true story about human courage, perseverance, and strength during the most horrific of times.  

The 2008 film, directed by Edward Zwick, is set during the occupation of Belarus by Nazi Germany. It is an account of the Bielski Partisans, a group led by Polish Jewish brothers who saved and recruited Jews in Belarus during WWII.  What makes this showing of the movie Defiance all the more compelling is that two of the Bielski Partisans, Sam and Ida Zelwin, settled in Cleveland, OH after the War.

Sam and Ida Zelwin escaped from the Novogrodek, Poland ghetto at the latter part of 1941 after 5000 of their fellow Jews were taken into the forest and killed. The Zelwins fled into the Belarus forests where they joined up with the Bielski brothers when the group numbered two dozen people. They spent three and a half years resisting the Nazis with the Bielski Partisans until they were liberated in 1945, when the group numbered 1200. Today there are more than 20,000 descendants of the group. Sam and Ida had a son, Harry, who was born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Foehrenwald, Germany in November, 1947. After emigrating to the U.S., Robert was born in Cleveland, OH in April, 1950, and Ileen was born in February, 1952. Sam and Ida Zelwin died in January, 2005 and March, 2006, respectively.  

Harry, Robert, and Ileen will be attending to further discuss their parents’ experience and answer questions

Special thanks to Robert Zelwin, Board Member of Kol Israel Foundation, and his family, second- (and –third) generation Survivors, for graciously making this movie event possible.


Sunday December 11, 2016 at 4:30 PM
Mandel JCC  -  Stonehill Auditorium
26001 S. Woodland Rd., Beachwood
Open to the community by reservation only.
Admission is Free. Space is limited, so please RSVP by 12.8.16 to:

Jeremy Joseph